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Artefact: Fencing Foil
Accession #: 2001.08.02
Year: 1950s

Fencing comprises three subdivisions, each named after the specific blade used: the foil, the epee and the sabre. Modern foil blades are up to 110 cm in length with a maximum weight of 500 grams and a blunted point. Foil fencers score points by making touches with the point of their sword only on the torso of their opponent. Since the hand is not an eligible area to score touches, foil swords have a very small hand guard. The hilts of foil swords often have a pistol-like grip such as this one or a small crossguard and wrist strap.

Fencing is one of the oldest Olympic sports and developed from the historical practice of swordsmanship throughout Europe, with its practice as a sport emerging toward the end of the 19th century. Modern-day fencing requires the use of helmets, coats, gloves and other protective equipment. It is one of only five sports having been featured in every modern Olympic Games.